abusive

‘My brother molested me as a teenager. Later in life, he became a youth pastor.’: Woman’s harrowing journey overcoming sexual abuse, brother’s resignation from church

“I finally mustered up the courage to tell my friend. She and her husband worked with my brother in the youth group. ‘I have to tell you, I’m not surprised by this.’ She said she had seen red flags and strange behavior from my brother and always thought there was something off. Eventually, he confessed.”

‘There it was, staring me in the face. ‘Traits of a sociopath.’ I was not crazy.’: After years of lies, sex-addiction, cheating, woman leaves abusive husband, done pretending to be ‘a perfect family’ to the ‘outside world’

“On our honeymoon, we stopped for lunch. He sat down and looked me in the eye. ‘I have to go grab something,’ he said. There I was, 18 years old and 5 months pregnant, sitting in the Jack-in-the-box praying he would come back. I waited for hours, no sign of him. To this day, he’s kept where he went a secret.”

‘My best friend let me in on a secret. She was receiving methadone treatments for a heroin addiction. ‘What?’ I was so young and naïve.’: Woman finally breaks cycle of toxic relationships to trust her ‘intuition’

“She finally went into rehab. Not long after, she disappeared. One day, I had a guest. ‘Maya!’ I was excited to see her. She was super off and shaky. She didn’t even come into the house, just stood at the door. Immediately my heart sunk. I knew what was happening. I told her I loved her. ‘Please call me when you’re better.’”

‘No one else will love you besides me.’ It was like looking in the face of the devil.’: Young woman’s unexpected pregnancy gives her courage to leave abusive boyfriend, ‘never look back’

“One day it all changed. I peed on a stick and it said positive. I was pregnant with my son. My maternal instincts kicked in. The next time he beat me, I was done. I may not have loved myself enough to leave, but the love I had for my son was so big, I could not allow someone to hurt him.”

‘I want to live!,’ I was screaming. The cops were on their way. I was trying to get out of the bathroom, trying to get my boyfriend off me, trying to hide in the tub.’: Single mom’s empowering story of surviving domestic abuse with infant daughter

“I had 3 months to figure out my escape. I stopped fighting back with my daughter’s father and kept calm. He was losing control, and it drove him crazy. ‘You’re not gonna take her from me,’ he’d say. I’d wake up to him pacing the kitchen talking to himself. I stayed quiet and texted a friend who said, ‘Wait 10 minutes, and then you call the cops. He could be lying.’”

‘He went quiet. ‘You’re out with who?!’ he snarled. Surprised by his reaction, I laughed. His anger grew. ‘Tell him to go home. Tell him to leave. Now.’ This must be my mistake, I thought.’: Woman leaves narcissistic relationship

“As an insecure 18-year-old, it felt great that this older, successful man liked me. When he asked me to be his girlfriend only two weeks later, I was all in. I was so charmed by him. When I went upstairs to gather my things, he followed, blocking the front door. ‘You’re not going anywhere.’ He wouldn’t move. He wouldn’t let me leave.”

‘My dad was married and had an affair with my mom. I became the product of their affair.’: Woman overcomes childhood trauma, addiction, proclaims ‘I wear my story with pride – all of it!’

“On the outside, we looked normal. But behind closed doors, dark secrets hid. My younger sister woke up while it was happening. She said, ‘Daddy can you do that to me like you do to Shannon?’ He told her, ‘No it’s only for her.’ I was only in 4th grade and it tore me apart. I still hear and feel him breathing down my neck.”

‘My boyfriend screwed the windows and doors shut while I was sleeping. I made a split-second decision to throw myself backwards out the window to get away.’: Woman escapes boyfriend in ‘meth-induced psychosis,’ gets clean in ‘trauma-based recovery’

“I woke up and realized something was wrong. I went out into the living room and the look on his face was that of a monster. I tried in vain to get away from him until I eventually found myself pinned between the bed and the wall. The police found him hours later with no recollection of what happened.”

‘You catch this baby, or I will.’ My son’s father fainted. He woke up, saw our newborn, then left to smoke. He returned smelling of cheap beer and cigarettes.’

“‘I’m taking our son,’ he said. It was snowing and he was wasted. ‘He will not take my child like this.’ My grandmother walked in from church. ‘Take my son and lock yourself in your room!,’ I screamed. He got in his car and sped off, fish-tailing down the snow-covered road. Hours later, he returned.”

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